Geoff’s Fishing Report

On the rocks: Gaiji Koyama with a nice flathead from the rocks at St Helens (Photo: Seiya Koyama).

On the rocks: Gaiji Koyama with a nice flathead from the rocks at St Helens (Photo: Seiya Koyama).

Corio Bay/Bellarine Peninsula

With few reports from the Corio Bay inner harbour of late, it was encouraging to hear that visiting anglers, Harley Griffiths and Stanley Owen, picked up two snapper, each around the 4-5 kg mark. They were fishing with pilchards for bait offshore from the Corio refinery and also caught some respectable pinkies and several flathead.

Speaking of flathead, Gaiji Koyama picked up a nice one of 45 cm from the rocks at St Helens while fishing with his father Seiya on Saturday.

On Tuesday evening, night shift snapper hunters Andrew Phillips and George Uranus were out in their usual spot by 8.00 pm, between the channel junction off Curlewis and the Point Wilson Pier.

While the fishing was slow to begin with, George caught a nice snapper of about 5 kg at around 10.30, then Andrew caught another that weighed 7 kg shortly after that; both being caught on squid: Staying out until around 1.00 am, they added a good size gummy shark to their bag, but no more snapper.

Mike Windsor of Clifton Springs Boat Hire has seen plenty of pinkie snapper and leatherjackets being cleaned at the boat harbour lately; not many snapper though. However, there has been the occasional good catch of whiting

Tom Robinson and Keith Berry picked up a dozen nice fish offshore from The Dell on Thursday evening after returning a host of pea-dodgers. However, just before dark, the incoming tide encouraged fish to 40 cm or so, to the table.

Rod Ludlow of Beachlea Boat Hire at Indented Head reports that although onshore winds had muddied the waters, some clients – particularly those able to pick a break in the weather – took good catches of whiting, some better than 40 cm.

What is interesting said Rod, is that those doing best of all have been fishing on the drift, something that is not the usual approach for whiting, but technique leads by example so it’s best to take heed.

Legal size pinkie snapper have shown up as well said Rod, probably due to the discoloured water, but those to catch them over the 50 cm mark, have usually ventured out toward the Prince George pile, usually of an evening.

Barwon estuary

Fishing the incoming tide from The Sheepwash on Saturday morning, Simon and Jayden Werner had no trouble catching Australian salmon and mullet that were biting freely; some of which in turn were presented as live bait, hopeful of tempting a mulloway.

They caught two as it turned out, more or less one after the other at around 11.00 am, just before it began to rain; the larger of their two fish measuring 93 cm.

A result like that was worth a replay, so they set out with high hopes of a similar catch on Sunday, only to find there was nothing doing; nothing at all. Interestingly, on Saturday, the water temperature within the estuary was between 18 and 19 degrees, but on Sunday, for some reason, the water temperature had dropped to 15 degrees.


John Clements of the Lake Purrumbete Holiday Park reports that early last week, people were complaining about the heat. Come the weekend rain though, and with the track too heavy for most, those – like Terry Sheppard of Regal Marine – who were prepared to accommodate the weather, caught any amount of redfin to 800 grams or so.

Trout fishing was by no means spectacular, said John, but Phil Pirotta of Warrnambool took rainbow trout to 2 kg trolling Tassie Devils, while John Smithson took both brown and rainbow trout of a similar size using the same approach.

Chris asks:

Geoff, I couldn’t help noticing that you have, over the past two weeks or so, disagreed with the 40 cm length limit on pinkie snapper. What do you think it should be?

Chris, in my estimation, a pinkie of 40 cm (total length) would barely weigh a kilogram, while a fish of 60 cm would be approaching 3 kg, the generally agreed size over which they are referred to as snapper. I did make a submission recommending a size increase for pinkies – when such were invited – alas, to no avail.

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